MINERS and their colleagues at Ballarat Gold Mine are encouraged to help share their load with each other and talk.
The Mount Clear site now has a bright blue haul truck as a constant reminder.
Mining Manager, Darren Watkins said “Every day in this country, approximately six men and two women take their own life with many more thinking about it. Today is about how we can help each other through some of the hard times”.
Building on their Employee Assistance Program, Ballarat Gold Mine is working on developing and maintaining a mentally healthy and supportive workplace. With assistance from Dan Hunt of Mental Health Movement, they have delivered education workshops to all employees and contractors – taking participants through the awareness, education, support, management and resilience of mental health, mental illness & suicide.
Mr Hunt said, “We have been working with the Ballarat Gold Mine over the past 18 months. The workforce has been fantastic and have fully embraced the program. Everyone onsite now has some knowledge of how to better manage their own mental health, how to better support a fellow worker, friend or loved one and they know that it is not weakness to seek support but strength. A massive thank you to Leigh Searle, Health and Safety Manager – the work he has championed us to do shows how much he and the company care about their people.”
Jacob Redpath, Workshop Leading Hand said, “I welcome this positive initiative from the company and their willingness to step outside the box to support the needs of their workforce. The blue haul truck is a working truck in the mine and will stand out as a constant reminder to us all about the need to support each other.”
Additional Mental Health Response Training is now underway for 25% of the workforce which includes volunteers who will become Mental Health Peer Support Champions, to provide mental health support to fellow work mates.
Ballarat Gold Mine employs 161 staff and 76 contractors at their site in Woolshed Gully, Mt Clear.